LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. - — This time of year so many of us rely on home security cameras to protect our homes as holiday packages are delivered, but thieves may be one step ahead of you.
Kristen Carr has watched and re-watched the surveillance video outside her home in Lake Worth for the past few days after she claims her bicycle was stolen from her front yard.
“When I looked at my security footage, it was in my yard at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening and was gone at 8 p.m.,” Carr said.
If you watch the video closely, the time doesn’t stop. The bike is there one minute and appears to be gone the next, right as a car stops in front of Carr’s neighbor’s house.
“My bike is there and the headlights are on and there’s a flicker and both disappear like a 1950s B horror movie, just completely gone,” Carr said.
Security signs are posted in her yard, but Carr worries thieves used a device to hack or jam her WiFi, or possibly found a way to pause her camera system.
“My video recording was five minutes behind real-time so it’s like they paused my security system, came in took my bike, went back out and restarted it,” she said.
Alan Crowetz, is an IT expert with Infostream, Inc. He says there are multiple ways to jam a WiFi signal to disable a camera system, but he’s never seen it used.
“Technology keeps taking a step up and the bad guys keep finding new ways to take it vantage of things, so this could be the beginning of something where we are going to see more of these things or it could be a fluky situation than really what it appears to be,” Crowetz said.
Carr reported the theft and camera issue to the sheriff’s office who is now looking into it.
Crowetz is advising people to better protect themselves by having a strong password and more challenging WiFi security. He says set up an alert to notify you if your WiFi goes down, and consider hardwiring your cameras instead of using the WiFi.
“If the camera can be hardwired it takes out one big element of the vulnerability,” Crowetz said.
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